Published by HarperTeen on June 16th 2015
Amazon, The Book Depository
Don’t get mad, get even!
In this poignant and hilarious novel, Rachael Allen brilliantly explores the nuances of high school hierarchies, the traumas sustained on the path to finding true love, and the joy of discovering a friend where you least expect.
In the small town of Ranburne, high school football rules and the players are treated like kings. How they treat the girls they go to school with? That’s a completely different story. Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana each have their own reason for wanting to teach the team a lesson—but it’s only when circumstances bring them together that they come up with the plan to steal the one thing the boys hold sacred. All they have to do is beat them at their own game.
Brimming with sharp observations and pitch-perfect teen voices, fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Mlynowski are sure to fall head-over-heels for this sharp tale—by the author of 17 First Kisses—about the unexpected roads that can lead you to finding yourself.
This book is so brilliant.
It battles slut shaming:
“I’m energetic. And impulsive. And passionate. But just because I’m all those things doesn’t mean I give my body away like free samples at the perfume counter.”
“Even if she did, who cares? It’s not like that would make her bad or stupid or any different from half the guys on the football team.”
Rape culture, preferential treatment to sports players, and most of all, this book builds strong female relationships and empowers women.
This book starts off very fun and even a bit “juvenile”, with the challenges the girls are completing to beat and embarrass the guys on the football team.
“You will complete the following 14 dares- one for every game the Panther football team won last year. […] Should you fail to retrieve the football before 3:00 a.m., you will be walking onto the field naked at Homecoming. Good luck.”
But soon quickly delves deeper into the girls’ lives, their pasts, and how they were treated by the both the football team, and the school who glorified those jerks.
Every girl has a distinct personality, and genuine reason to rebel against the school’s preferential treatment. I think every girl was brilliantly characterized. I loved their voices individually, and their friendship was so wonderful and genuine.
There’s also time for romance, and it was so ADORABLE!!! The love interests are complete gentlemen, which is what these girls deserve after being treated so badly.
This book evoked so many emotions from me. From blind anger at the extreme sexism the school presented, to bouts of giggling with each ridiculous task the girls completed, there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t entertained.
The writing alternates between past and present POVs between all four girls. Both timelines seamlessly converge and flow together. It was really engaging writing. When you wanted to know more about what happened in the past, you were snapped back to the present where the girls where completing the dares, and vice versa.
If there was one thing I kind of wish I had seen more, was the long-term effects of the girls’ stand against the football players. But this is just a personal preference, not a fault in the book.
Overall, I really really enjoyed this book. It was a short read, but incredibly powerful, utterly hilarious, and definitely one you should read if you like “girl power” type books.
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